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Developing Strong Teams: Lessons Learned from Chick-fil-A's Team Management Approach

In case we haven’t mentioned it enough, we’re, ‘Big. Huge!’ fans of Chick-fil-A. And we’re not only talking about the chicken sandwiches and waffle fries.

We’ve covered how our Virtual Assistants serve 44 Chick-fil-A locations and, more recently, how businesses can follow their lead.

Today, we’re fangirling over Chick-fil-A’s team management approach — and how you can implement it in your own organization.


Adequate Time and Energy are Spent on Training

Chick-fil-A is well-known for its strong team management approach and dedication to employee training and development. Their commitment to training and development has been a key driver of its success.

Initial Training: New team members go through a structured training program that includes on-the-job training, classroom instruction and online modules. This training covers various aspects of the business, including customer service, food preparation, cleanliness standards and the company's core values.

Ongoing Training: Chick-fil-A doesn't stop at initial training. They invest in continuous development for their employees and franchise owners. Regular workshops, seminars and refresher courses are offered to help individuals stay updated with the latest industry trends, customer service techniques and operational best practices.

Franchisee Training: Becoming a Chick-fil-A franchise owner is a rigorous process. Potential franchisees are required to complete an extensive training program that includes both classroom and hands-on training. This program ensures that franchisees understand the company's culture, values and operational standards.

Leadership Development: Chick-fil-A also places a strong focus on leadership development. They offer leadership training programs for employees at various levels within the organization, helping them grow as leaders and take on more responsibilities.

Cultural Training: Chick-fil-A is known for its unique and strong corporate culture, including its commitment to customer service and community involvement. Employees are trained not only in the technical aspects of their roles but also in the company's culture and values.


Franchise Owners Take the Lead

Chick-fil-A empowers its franchise owners through a blend of autonomy and support. Franchisees are considered independent operators, encouraging a sense of ownership and responsibility. 

They have the freedom to make local decisions, innovate within Chick-fil-A's core values, and tailor offerings to meet community needs. Franchise owners lead in staffing, training and community engagement, strengthening their restaurant's ties to the local area. 

They maintain high standards of operational excellence and profitability, regularly assessing and improving their operations. 

While granted autonomy, Chick-fil-A provides a support network, including resources and training, to ensure franchise owners make informed decisions while upholding the company's values. This balance of independence and support has been integral to Chick-fil-A's success as a franchise.


Collaborations Between Locations is Encouraged

Chick-fil-A promotes collaboration among its locations through operator meetings, digital platforms and Leadership Councils. 

These forums facilitate the sharing of insights, best practices, and resources. Franchise owners participate in training sessions and workshops that encourage knowledge exchange, and they engage in community events, often partnering with neighboring restaurants. 

Shared resources and mentorship support consistency and learning. Regional events and involvement in product development further strengthen collaboration, fostering a sense of community and contributing to collective success.


Employees Are Valued

Chick-fil-A places a strong emphasis on valuing and nurturing its employees. Their commitment to valuing their employees is deeply rooted in their company culture and core values. 

This dedication not only helps attract and retain top talent but also contributes to the overall success and reputation of the Chick-fil-A brand.

1. Competitive Compensation

Chick-fil-A strives to offer competitive wages and benefits to its employees. This includes hourly wages, access to healthcare benefits and opportunities for performance-based bonuses and raises.

2. Opportunities for Advancement

Chick-fil-A encourages career growth and offers opportunities for employees to advance within the company. They have a history of promoting from within, allowing team members to progress into leadership roles, including management and even ownership as franchisees.

3. Positive Workplace Culture

Chick-fil-A's core values, including integrity, excellence and teamwork, are integral to creating a respectful and inclusive environment for employees.

4. Flexible Schedules

Chick-fil-A often provides flexible work schedules to accommodate the needs of its employees, such as students or individuals with other commitments. This flexibility helps team members maintain a healthy work-life balance.

5. Training and Development

Chick-fil-A invests significantly in training and development programs for its employees. This includes initial onboarding training, ongoing skill development and leadership training to help employees excel in their roles and progress in their careers.

6. Scholarship Opportunities

The Chick-fil-A Foundation offers scholarship programs for employees pursuing higher education. This initiative supports employees in achieving their academic goals and advancing their careers.

7. Recognition and Appreciation

Chick-fil-A frequently recognizes and appreciates its employees through various means, such as employee of the month awards, recognition events and performance-based incentives. This fosters a sense of pride and motivation among team members.

8. Community Involvement

Chick-fil-A encourages employees to engage in community service and philanthropic activities, contributing to a sense of purpose and social responsibility.


How to Implement This Approach In Your Organization

Chick-fil-A’s management approach is renowned for its customer service excellence, employee development and community engagement. And if you haven’t already jotted down ideas you can take as your own, here’s a short list of valuable lessons and principles to consider implementing.

  • Prioritize exceptional customer service and build loyalty.
  • Invest in training and career growth opportunities for staff.
  • Establish and uphold core values as guiding principles.
  • Engage with and support the local community.
  • Foster a positive, inclusive and respectful work environment.
  • Recognize employees regularly and maintain open lines of communication.
  • Embrace adaptability, innovation and sustainability practices.
  • Lead with transparency and ethical behavior.

By incorporating these principles, organizations can create a strong workplace culture, deliver exceptional service and contribute positively to their communities.

You can easily adapt these ideas and achieve similar success.

And not to be too corny, but it’s our pleasure to serve you. And we’re here ready to help.

One of our Virtual Assistants or Social Media Managers could be just the person you need to take your organization from an unmemorable dreaded road trip drive-thru to a full-service Chick-fil-A-style experience.